Healthy eating guidelines and simple steps to improve your diet

HEALTHY eating guidelines

Disclaimer: this will not apply to you if you have a condition that requires a specific diet – food allergies, intolerances, diabetes, etc. I am not a medical professional and I’m only qualified to offer advice in regards to exercise or general healthy eating.

If your New Year resolution is to eat more healthily, I got you covered! This week’s post is all about healthy eating guidelines and how you can improve your diet bit by bit.

We tend to make healthy eating much more complicated than it is, mostly due to the food industry that tries to sell us products. It’s normal, they have something to sell and they want to convince you that you need it.

So here’s tip number one: the truly healthy foods don’t need a TV advert.

Bellow you have the eat well plate, which shows how your diet throughout the day should be. But to make things easy, think about achieving that per day, as an average over a few days or even per week – trying to have your meals look like that every single time will just put pressure on you.

Image from https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/the-eatwell-guide/

Healthy Eating Guidelines from the eat well plate

  • 33% of your food should be from starches (potatoes, pasta, bread, grains, etc.)
  • 33% should be fruit and vegetables
  • About 10-15% should be calcium-rich foods (dairy alternatives as vegan options)
  • 10-15% should be protein sources (for a vegan diet – beans, pulses, soya, meat alternatives)
  • A small amount of fat from oils and spreads
  • Little to no high sugar and processed foods

Additional healthy eating guidelines:

  • If you take part in endurance training (running, cycling), the amount of carbs can be increased
  • If you take part in strength training, the amount of protein can be increased
  • Pick wholegrain / wholemeal whenever you can
  • Be aware of the amount of sugar in foods by looking at the labels
  • Reduce the quantity of processed foods
  • Cook more
  • Don’t drink your calories, opt for water whenever you can
  • Stay hydrated
  • Eat your vegetables (3-5 portions of veggies and 2-4 portions of fruit per day)

1. Start by making small changes to the existing diet

It can be overwhelming at first, so instead of emptying your cupboards and replacing all the foods you have, start by adding only. Add a big fresh salad or a bunch of vegetables to your next dinner, or drink more water.

Continue by replacing some foods with their more healthy option. For example, instead of flavoured yogurt which usually has a lot of added sugar, opt for the natural one and add fresh fruit, nuts and seeds yourself. Instead of the sugary morning cereal, opt for oatmeal and pump the flavour by adding fruit, cinnamon, vanilla or almond extract. Instead of the sweetened soya milk, buy the unsweetened one.

Baby steps.

One of the reasons people fail is that they try to go big from the start. It works for some, but unless you can dedicate your time and you can focus on this for a while, take the small steps approach.

2. There’s no such thing as perfection

There will be days, weeks or even months when all you’ll eat is junk food. Life happens, priorities change and your diet can be the last thing on your mind.

But mistakes are not a reason not to go back.

Think about it this way: every single time you eat a junk meal, it’s like kicking your leg against the table. One kick won’t hurt too bad. A whole week of kicking will hurt, but it’s not irreversible. A whole month of kicking will make a horrible bruise and start to make damage to the bone. However, if you stop kicking yourself, the leg will eventually heal.

That’s the secret. Stop kicking yourself before you lose that leg.

3. Don’t make it more complicated than it is

You don’t need pills, tea, Keto, or any other diet that has a name. You need natural, whole, unprocessed or minimally processed foods that fuel you. It really is that simple.

There is no need to make it complex, count calories and macros, or turn your life upside down.

Healthy Eating Guidelines and a few small steps to take to improve your diet

Want to know what I eat in a day as a vegan? Check out this YouTube video!

And until next week, tell me, do you have any other tips or questions? Leave them in the comments section.

Keep it simple and do your best.

Love and gratitude,

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